Sen. Jeff Hayden, Rep. Rena Moran at menthol discussions

Sen. Jeff Hayden and Rep. Rena Moran, left, attend a discussion on menthol and how it affects the African-American community.

St. Paul community leaders, public health advocates discuss menthol

About 55 St. Paul African American community leaders, youth, public health professionals and interested community members gathered for a Menthol Community Conversation on June 17.
National experts from the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council presented to the group about the deliberate targeting of the African American community by tobacco companies using menthol.  They presented information about what other communities have done to reduce the impact of menthol on their communities.
The meetings’ intent was to raise awareness about menthol and its impact on St. Paul’s African American community.
The St. Paul meeting was one of six meetings held that week across the Metro.
Ramsey Tobacco Coalition and our partners at Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation coordinated and hosted the event.  Youth from Vision In Living Life: Change is Possible performed a skit to the audience to introduce the Rondo neighborhood and dramatize its history.
Those in attendance learned how the tobacco industry has strategically targeted African American communities with menthol, the devastating effect, and what can be done to put an end to the harms.